27 Oct 2023 | Australian Open | Men's Australian Open |
Block's banner year to continue at the ISPS HANDA Australian Open
by Jimmy Emanuel
After becoming one of the biggest stories in golf in 2023, Michael Block has today been confirmed as part of the field for the ISPS HANDA Australian Open in Sydney, beginning November 30. Finishing in a share of 15th at the U.S. PGA Championship at Oak Hill in May, Block became a viral sensation for his play, which earnt him a return to the major championship in 2024, and especially his Sunday hole-in-one alongside playing partner Rory McIlroy. A PGA of America professional and head teaching pro at Arroyo Trabuco Golf Club in California, Block will make his first Australian start at the Australian Open, which is co-sanctioned by the DP World Tour and will be hosted by The Australian Golf Club and The Lakes Golf Club. “I am so excited to come ‘Down Under’ and play the Australian Open,” Block said. “The Australian Open is a historic event with a fantastic honour roll and I can’t wait to experience Australian golf for myself, as well as meeting plenty of my fellow PGA professionals from another part of the world.” Enjoying the fruits of the spoils of his PGA Championship finish in the months since, including PGA TOUR starts at the Charles Schwab Challenge and RBC Canadian Open, Block has also been keeping his game sharp with the 47-year-old winning back-to-back Southern California PGA Section “majors” in September. Block’s recent good play earned him two more PGA TOUR event spots at the World Wide Technology Championship in November and The American Express in 2024. “It has been a truly unbelievable year for me, both on and off the course, and what better way to finish 2024 than to head to Australia, play some golf and see the sights of Sydney,” Block said. “I want to say thank you to Golf Australia and the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia for extending me an invite and an experience that I will truly relish.” Block, whose memorable year has included contact with basketball legend Michael Jordan and spending time with Tiger Woods at his recent TW Invitational, is a “buddy” of Australian rising star Min Woo Lee, who is also confirmed for the Australian Open.
The pair teed it up at Colonial the week following his star turn at the US PGA. Maintaining the world first dual gender format of 2022, Block joins Lee, Cameron Smith, Adam Scott, Minjee Lee, Hannah Green, Min Woo Lee, Cameron Davis, Lucas Herbert, Grace Kim, Jiyai Shin and Stephanie Kyriacou as confirmed starters for this year’s Australian Open. “Like all golf fans, I thoroughly enjoyed watching Michael’s efforts at Oak Hill and we feel he is the perfect fit of the Australian Open as we continue to showcase our world first dual gender format,” Golf Australia CEO James Sutherland said. One of 18 events on the Challenger PGA Tour of Australasia schedule for the 2023/24 season, the ISPS HANDA Australian Open will see the field play one round on The Lakes and The Australian each over the first two days before the halfway cut. The final two rounds to be played at The Australian, which is hosting the tournament for the 22nd time this year, while the Australian All-Abilities Championship will also be played concurrently. “We are thrilled to have Michael coming to Australia to conclude what has been an unforgettable year for him as we reach the halfway point of the Summer of Golf,” PGA of Australia CEO Gavin Kirkman said.
The ISPS HANDA Australian Open is proudly supported by the NSW Government through its tourism and major events agency Destination NSW.
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